Laos Tourist Attractions are some of the few truly intact and beautiful places left in the world. Associated with the “back-in-time” feeling, the friendly locals, atmospheric Buddhist sites, and enigmatic places of interest make Laos a praiseworthy country to discover. From the UNESCO-listed Luang Prabang to the unexplained Plain of Jars, travelers will be glad to see the local highlights, and here are the 10 best tourist attractions in Laos.
#1: Luang Prabang – a classical UNESCO World Heritage site
Located in the north of Laos, Luang Prabang is a significant and fascinating town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The attraction is a must to see, in which you’ll contemplate traditional Laos’ wooden houses, royal and colonial architecture, and more than 30 Buddhist shrines. Often described as “the Jewel in Laos Crown”, this town is included in almost every Laos Tours that let you see the “Alms Giving Ceremony”, Ban Phanom Village, Elephant Village Sanctuary, Kuang Si Waterfall, Mount Phousi, Pak Ou Caves, Royal Palace Museum, Tad Sae Waterfall, Wat Wisunarat, and Wat Xieng Thong.
#2: That Luang in Vientiane – a national symbol on Laos’ official seal
The list of top-rated attractions in Laos always has a room for the Great Stupa or That Luang in Vientiane. Do you know that this monument is on Laos’ official seal? This nation’s symbolic construction looks like a fortress encompassed by high walls and featured with two temples and the main stupa. The peak of each temple is adorned with gold leaf. In front of the main entrance to That Luang is the statue of King Setthathirat who built the structure on the site of the 13th-century Khmer ruin in 1566. Every November, the Boun That Luang Festival takes place in Vientiane that is filled with Buddhist ceremonies, parades, flowers, and tourists.
#3: Vang Vieng – an idyllic venue for backpackers
Vang Vieng Laos is a very beautiful and idyllic venue for backpackers to gather and stay away from city stress. It is a little lovely town bordered by magnificent mountains, limestone cliff, rice fields, and rivers which are ideal for photography, sightseeing, and relaxation. You’ll find it easy to see other tourists lazily swimming in the rivers or sitting in the inner tubes floating downstream (Tubing). The Vang Vieng town gains recognition for captivating scenery, and especially the natural Blue Lagoon in Tham Poukham, the limestone grotto above the lagoon that enshrines a sleeping Buddha statue and exotic rock formations.
#4: Bolaven Plateau – a green site with spectacular waterfalls for beautiful trekking
In southern Laos, there lies an amazing green site named Bolaven Plateau featured with wonderful scenery, untouched corners, ethnic villages, and some of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful waterfalls. In particular, Tad Fane and Dong Hua Sao are the top waterfalls to see in Laos. With the elevation ranging from 1.000m to 1.350m above sea level, the plateau offers cool weather. Together with coffee and tea plantation, tourism brings income to the locals. It welcomes many day trips and trekking tours that put the focus on the fairy waterfall scenery, rainforest, and wildlife.
#5: Bokeo Laos – a destination to back in peace and simplicity
If you ask for a top peaceful, rural, and enthralling destination, then Bokeo Laos is a worthy recommendation. Though being the smallest province in the country, Bokeo doesn’t hold the least beauty at all. In fact, the strength of this attraction is about the tranquil villages, earlier-century temples, hunts and shelters on the treetops, and rich wildlife environments. Adventurers love the wild tours in Laos including boat trip, off-the-beaten-track trekking trails, wildlife observing, and especially sleeping in the treetop houses.
#6: Wat Si Saket – a pagoda of thousands of Buddha images
Getting inside Wat Si Saket in Vientiane, you’ll feel like visiting the Buddhism mecca as the pagoda is filled with over 6.800 Buddha images. The 16th-19th-century Buddha images of various sizes made from bronze, wood, and stone create the solemn and sacred atmosphere. Rows of hundreds of the seated Buddha are the unique highlights of the pagoda that are also the proud of the Laos people. If you get there in the early morning, you’ll see many locals going to pray and giving offerings to the monks. Surrounded by tropical fruit trees, the site is shady, fresh, and charming.
#7: Buddha Park or Xieng Khuan in Vientiane – a sacred venue with over 200 religious statues
Pictures about Buddha Park in Vientiane make people feel like it is a different world that was lost. The Park includes more than 200 Buddhism and Hinduism statues, forming the solemn and sacred ambiance. Especially, the 40m-high reclining Buddha gives the site the unique look and incomparable charm. This sculpture park really provides the exceptional praying and photographing spots. The best place for bird’s-eye view in the Park is on top of the giant pumpkin whose entrance is crafted like a demon’s mouth which is 3m high. After the pleasant walking, have Laos Beer in the local café shop next to the mighty Mekong River.
#8: The Plain of Jars – an unexplained, mysterious, and unique plain in Laos
Among the most mysterious Laos tourist attractions, the Plain of Jars in Phonsavan often ranks top. The immense plains cover many stone jars which were left in an unknown way, and up to now, there is no official explanation about the origin of these ancient urns. The enigmatic jars appear in various sizes, carved from sandstone and granite, and might be over 2,000 years ago. They still sit on the plains, challenge modern people to find answers about how and why they were set there. The whole plains with the unknown jars also create fantastic sightseeing.
#9: Wat Phou in Champasak – another historical UNESCO-listed heritage in Laos
Nestled on a hillside, Wat Phou (Mountain Temple) provides a panoramic, stunning view over the land and Mekong River. Winning the UNESCO World Heritage title in 2002, this temple preserves the values of history and Khmer art amid the magnificently green landscape. Behind this tourist attraction is the breathtaking terraced rice fields and majestic mountains that create the wonderful background. Of course, the 11th-13th-century ancient temple itself denotes the notable Khmer architecture ever built. The distinctive carvings of Hindu gods of war, rainfall, storm, and Vishnu riding an eagle, etc., and other Buddhist highlights make this site a sanctuary to be back in time.
#10: Thang Ing Hang Stupa in Savannakhet – where enshrines a relic of Buddha’s spine
Thang Ing Hang Stupa is the 16th-century monument that is said to enshrine a relic of Buddha’s spine, ensuring its sacred values in the Buddhists’ belief. The Stupa is around 9m high and featured with the special carvings. The age-old walls and architecture of the site provides unique adventures to the hidden worshipping venues visited by both Laotian Buddhists and the Thai Buddhists. There are some myths related to the place that tourists might feel interested in listening to, such as the legend about an old monk that leaned on the Hang tree to do meditation every day until he received Nirvana after he died. This is considered as the second most famous pilgrimage destination in Laos (after Wat Phou in Champasak).
Top 10 Laos Tourist Attractions guarantee you have a list of the best sites not to be missed in this lovely Indochina country.